‘FINAL MISSION’ (TNG)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This episode features the last regular appearance of Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher in ‘Star Trek: TNG’. He would make recurring appearances after this, but this is where we say goodbye to Wesley.
In this episode, Wesley receives word that he has been accepted into Starfleet Academy. Delighted about this, Wesley soon goes off onto his final mission with Captain Picard into the Pentarus system.
Picard must mediate a dispute among some miners on the fifth planet of the Pentarus system. Both Picard and Wesley go a shuttle craft to Pentarus V, that’s being piloted by Nick Tate as Captain Dirgo.
I must say that the shuttle-craft being piloted by Captain Dirgo is a complete shambles. It seems to be in working order first, but honestly! Why go in a run-down shuttle where the systems are dodgy?
Also, how come Picard and Wesley seem willing to go into this shuttle-craft of Dirgo’s when they could have gone in one of the Enterprise shuttles? Is this meant to be a secret mission of some sort?
Anyway, the Enterprise also receives distress call from the planet Gamilon V. An unidentified vessel has entered orbit of the planet and is giving off lethal doses of radiation, as Gamilon V requires help.
Picard decides that Riker take the Enterprise to resolve the situation of Gamilon V, whilst he and Wesley go in the shuttle to Pentarus V. It seems a reasonable arrangement. But it doesn’t last long.
Now I found the story with Picard and Wesley more interesting than the one with the Enterprise helping Gamilon V. I wish more focus was spent on the Picard/Wesley arc rather than the other one.
En route to Pentarus V, Dirgo’s shuttle malfunctions (as I expected) and is forced to crash-land onto a desert-like moon. Picard, Wesley and Dirgo get to survive, but the shuttle seems so beyond repair.
Picard, Wesley and Dirgo also have to be careful on this desert-like moon as the temperature is boiling hot. They need to protect themselves from the heat and they cannot contact the Enterprise.
They also have no food or water to keep them alive. The three head off to find some shelter as they make for some caves. Wesley also gets to pick up some energy readings whilst making for the caves.
Inside the caves, the three discover a fountain-like water source. But it’s being protected by a crystalline force-field. Dirgo attempts to use a phaser to destroy the field, but he causes a rock-slide.
Picard pushes Wesley out of the way of the rock-slide, but he gets severely injured in the process. Wesley helps to get Picard better, whilst Dirgo gets to be increasingly annoying, stubborn and wilful.
Yeah, Dirgo isn’t the chap you’d want to rely on for help in this episode. Picard warns Wesley to stand up to Dirgo. Wesley tries but Dirgo is so determined to make his own decisions getting water.
This results in Dirgo getting killed in the process when trying to breach the field again, because of his impatience. Wesley is left alone to tend to Picard’s injuries and trying to find a way to get the water.
The scenes with Wesley and Picard are wonderful to watch, as there’s some great character development between them. Wil Wheaton and Patrick Stewart’s performances are so spellbinding.
Wesley shares how much he wanted Picard to be proud of him and doesn’t give up on him. Picard tells Wesley that he was always proud of him as he gives him some advice in attending the academy.
Eventually, Wesley finds a way of disabling the force-field in using his phaser as well as using his tricorder. This manages to work, as the force-field switches off and Wesley gains access to the water.
Wesley gives the water to Picard to help him get better. Eventually, the Enterprise comes and rescues Picard and Wesley. It’s a joyous moment when Wesley wakes to see his mother before him.
I like that last scene in the episode when Picard is being carried away from the cave and he tells Wesley that he will be missed. It goes to show how well-developed Wesley’s character has come far.
‘Final Mission’ is a pretty good ‘TNG’ episode to see the final regular appearance of Wesley Crusher. I hoped it wouldn’t be the last time we’d see Wesley and thankfully he does come back a few times.
‘Final Mission’ (TNG) rating – 8/10
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